Morris Leon Radoff, 73, the archivist of the state of Maryland from 1939 until his retirement in 1975, died Saturday at his home at St. Margaret's near Annapolis. He had suffered a series of strokes.

Dr. Radoff held the post of state records administrator from 1953 to 1975 in addition to being archivist. As archivist, he was responsible for preserving documents. As records administrator, he was responsible for deciding what papers should be kept and which could be thrown out.

He was born in Houston, Tex. He studied at the University of Texas, the University of Grenoble, France, and the University of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1926. He earned a master's degree at North Carolina a year later and a doctorate in Romance languages from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1932. He was an instructor at Johns Hopkins from 1933 to 1936, and then was an editor for the Historical Records Survey, a WPA project, until being named state archivist.

Dr. Radoff was a past president of the Society of American Archivists, a trustee of the Maryland Historical Trust, and a member of the St. Mary's City Commission. He wrote three looks on historic buildings in Maryland and was the author of numerous articles in professional and historical publications.

Survivors include his wife, May Conkling Radoff, of the home; a brother, David, of San Diego, Calif., and a sister, Mrs. Leo Zimmerman, of Chicago.